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PTA Board Minutes

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – March 8, 2022

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

March 8, 2022

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

ZOOM Meeting

Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022  Passcode: wildcats


  1. Kristen Ramer Liang
  2. Tina Lilley
  3. Anna Hume
  4. Kathleen Donahoe
  5. Tricia Schalekamp
  6. Renee Hartnett
  7. Kate Scher
  8. Kate Mathews
  9. Kellie Pecoraro
  10. Courtney Sievers
  11. Megan Wildenradt
  12. Leah Lansberry-Austin
  13. Sara Lukas
  14. Sandra Klay
  15. Cindy Watters
  16. Emma Kocher
  17. Julia Liang

7:04    Meeting Called to Order, Approval of February Board Meeting Minutes

Kathleen motioned, Courtney seconded – Meeting minutes approved. (vote was at 8:46 pm)

Land Acknowledgement by Kristen Liang

7:05    Staff Update 

7:15    Principal Update

  • Student Guest Speakers – Emma Kocher & Julia Liang
  • EMMA – 5th Grade Celebration
    • 5th grade classes could take a day off to go to a park, have pizza & play games
    • Stay at school – all 3 classes could have different activities ie; movies, arts & crafts, games
    • Parks – salmon bay, carkeek, Kirke – going somewhere because then the other classes won’t be there
    • Emma is happy to be on an organizing committee
  • JULIA – Bathrooms, Library – non-fiction books, Food Quality at Lunch
    • Bathrooms – toilets should have seat covers to be more sanitary (flushable covers)
    • Library – Doesn’t have a lot of diversity, especially about people. For example, people who helped make our community the way it is now.
      • (Cindy posed question:  How we could get more diverse books?) A:  School families could donate books about certain topics
    • School Lunches – The food should be better quality.
      • Half of the pasta wasn’t cooked in one of the lunches. Food is soggy and they don’t want to touch it. 
  • (Cindy Question: How could we make the food better?)  A:  Food is in a freezer and heated up in a microwave… they should check it to make sure it’s fully cooked 
  • Julia agreed to be on a Food Service Committee
    • No update tonight, but she has a meeting tomorrow about masking. Her hunch/best guess  is that SPS will probably follow what other schools in the general area are doing with masks. 
    • Masks are included in the MOU (memorandum of understanding). Cindy doesn’t think it requires a vote, but she thinks that it is just agreement between leadership teams
  • BUDGET – not great, not horrible
    • Down 1 homeroom teacher
    • She’s working on getting universal intervention support… She thinks it’s inequitable to not have the same support available to Whittier as other schools in this department. 
    • Prides of March – loosely organized but hoping it’ll be better next year
    • Cindy wants to support “safe conversations” Kids are picking up on current events… Russia/Ukraine, LGTBQ issues
    • Spirit Days – low barrier to participation, no purchases for these days, something you don’t really have to plan for – No heavy lifts! 
    • Door decorating at the end of the month! Parents will be able to help, but 80% of the door will be done by the kids. Doors will show who the classroom is as a community.

7:30    President’s Report – Kristen & Tina

  • 3/15 Community Meeting (platform, presentation, member voting)
  • Spring Fling Update – Sandra
    • Great committee, about 15 volunteers who are rocking & rolling
    • 5-9 pm, no kids – set-up/tear-down earlier/later than that window
    • We can use the blacktop and the gym – will be using it for 
    • Food Truck – Dantes – hot dogs, Veraci – Pizza
    • There will be drinking – out on the street. No alcohol on school premises
    • Games – Corn Hole, other outdoor games
    • Sandra has a permit – WA State liquor & cannabis board, will also get block party permit
      • Planning to let neighbors know that the event will be happening
    • Expenses – Minimal – trying to use things from school.. ie;  tables, canopies from family
    • Decor Team
    • Standing meeting 7-9 pm 
    • Special Guest DJ might be a possibility… 
    • Procurement – Elliott has been doing an amazing job. He’s contacted 88 businesses. Mix of printed emails, online forms too. 6 donations so far, but many more coming. 20 more in-person drops planned for this week.
  • Virtual School Tours Update – Megan, Sara, Tricia
    • Good turnout for the virtual tours
  • Room Rep Emails – Kate
    • Wants us to consolidate requests via her so we don’t overwhelm room reps

7:50    Treasurer’s Report – Renee

  • Budget Update (February reports): Balance Sheet, Budget vs Actuals, Profit & Loss
  • Budget Survey Update
    • 166 responses
    • Interest in funding staffing 89%
    • Funding equity initiatives 72%
      • People like specific
    • Funding various PTA initiatives priority in survey results
      • enrichment activities 
      • academic enrichment 
      • equity 
      • field trips 
      • community events
  • Budget Committee Update
    • budget numbers from district are not good
  • Staffing Grant Request for 2022/23
    • 2.5 PCP funded next year (vs 3 for this year)
    • staffing 90K – this keeps it so we retain staffing levels of reading specialists and PCP
    • Reading Interventionist serves a larger group of students than any homeroom teachers
    • Kathleen asked what happens if we don’t make fundraising numbers. Renee said fundraising forecasts are pretty conservative and that people want to know what they need to give.
    • Another comment was made that we need to continue/increase advocacy efforts to change the way things are funded… “BOTH/AND” re: Fundraising and Advocacy
  • VOTE – Courtney motioned to put a $90K staffing grant up for approval at the Community Meeting; Kathleen seconded 

8:10    Nominating Committee Update – Leah

  • Received responses from half of the board
  • Still need more people to get involved
  • Talked about bringing FACE (Family and Community Engagement) committee efforts back

8:20      Chair Reports

9:04    Meeting Adjourned

Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

3/15 Spring PTA Community Meeting

3/24 EDI Committee Meeting

4/11-4/15 Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

4/19 Monthly PTA Board Meeting

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – February 8, 2022

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022

Passcode: wildcats



  1. Kristen Ramer Liang
  2. Tina Lilley
  3. Kate Scher
  4. Megan Wildenradt
  5. Kathleen Donahoe
  6. Anna Hume
  7. Kellie Pecoraro
  8. Sara Lukas
  9. Renee Hartnett
  10. Tricia Schalekamp
  11. Leah Lansberry Austin
  12. Kate Mathews
  13. Courtney Sievers


  1. Cindy Watters
  2. Susan Hernandez
  3. Liz Young
  4. Sandra Klay
  5. Anjean Bosch
  6. Erika Morales
  7. Allison Parker
  8. Erin Drury SCPTA 

7:00    Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement

7:10 Guest Speaker:  Erin Dury,  Seattle Council PTSA 

  • Discussion on how SPS is funded, how our PTA dollars impact and affect the funding, and what all this means for your school and your PTA.
  • 105 schools 
  • 90 have PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or PTO (Parent Teacher Organization)
  • PTAs advocate for the adequate funding of schools from governmental sources. They do not replace funds not supplied by governments.
  • Fundraising is not the primary purpose of a PTA

Take Back Resolution (2019)  

  • Fundraising exacerbates critical inequities in our system
  • 2018-19 PTA fundraising numbers in Seattle
    • Per school $0 – $455, 561
    • Per student $0 – 1,394
  • Seattle PTSA is supporting #TakeBackPTA

Cindy Watters pointed out that some schools get more LAP (discretionary) dollars per student than others and lots of PTA funding is making up for that to help students whose families  might be less financially stable than their “wealthy” neighborhoods. 

Tricia Schalekamp added via chat: Cindy’s comment (data from SPS site) 2021-2022 Lap Funding is $24,492 for Northgate & $12,816 for Whittier

PTA/PTO Revenue per student (‘18-’19)

  • North $323
  • Central $282
  • West $286
  • Southeast $67

Most fundraising happens in the North and West areas of SPS. Strong correlation between those areas and the historic redlining activities that happened.

SCPTSA looking for people who want to have a conversation with the Seattle Public Schools in the Take Back conversation & school funding policies.

Most fundraising happens in the North and West areas of SPS. Strong correlation between those areas and the historic redlining activities that happened.

SE Coalition is still seeking funds… they may do an equal distribution of funds this year, or they may do more of a equity based distribution (ie; free/reduced lunch #s)

Tina asked what the $14K was used for… just to know what types of needs the SE schools have. Masks, library books, water bottles

You may contact Erin here if you would like more info/have questions.

7:40 Presidents Update/Housekeeping (Kristen/Tina/Leah)

  • Approval of January Board Meeting Minutes – passed
  • PTA Community Meeting 3/15 – critical staffing budget requests and vote
  • Nominating Committee Update (Leah) – 1st mtg this week, more updates next month

7:50    Principal & Staff Updates (Cindy)

  • Budget Preview
    • Schools never have enough money
    • Enrollment projections – we think we will be down about 38 students – 80 – 5th graders moving on, 72 Kindergarteners projected to come, plus attrition
      • Megan asked if legislation passes to use 2019 enrollment numbers, if that will help us. Cindy said maybe because it might be used to cover for this year
    • We expect to get budget from the district on 2/28
    • COVID $ from government is paying for playground supervision, Katie Dahlen 
    • We are paying Nurse Marissa extra to help with contact tracing
    • Cindy offered to have a bigger conversation about budgeting if anyone is interested
    • Kathleen asked if we’ll get more COVID relief money next year. Cindy said we don’t know
      • Kate S added via chat: “ESSER III dollars currently end on 9/30/22 and there’s no public discussion of it renewing again that I’ve found”

Tina asked about BLT meeting… meeting just happened. Starting to discuss who is staying/leaving. Teachers are torn about PTA funding… they LOVE having a reading specialist (Ms Trilby) 

  • Black Lives Matter Recap
    • Great week 
    • Cindy complimented the teachers – thoughtful & intentional, especially about BLM. They cultivate curiosity daily and are doing a great job!
    • Another bulletin board made by Ms Mayo to highlight BLM.
    • BLM week started in Seattle.
    • Lays the foundation for kids to be thinkers and future leaders/activists/voters/disrupters
  • Prides of March Drive
    • Partner with Tent City 3 at Phinney Lutheran Church, sanctioned tent city – 
    • Starting 6th/7th of March
    • Each week is different theme with different grades helping to organize what we’re collecting and why
    • Student ambassadors to collect items 
    • She’d like to partner with PTA to collect items
    • Tying to virtues of compassion and kindness
    • She plans to build in some spirit days too
  • Kristen brought up the book drive to diversify our library books – Cindy would like to still do it.

Kathleen asked for COVID update 

  • LESS covid! Enough of a drop that we can resume vision/hearing screening
  • District says 2/7 in-person audiences for secondary schools will be ok, so maybe in March we can resume singing indoors (with masks)

Susan thanked Cindy for getting the IA positions at Whittier

8:10    Treasurer’s Report

$128K up $8K from Annual Give  

Biggest expense was $3K for IXL

8:30 Chair Reports

  • Spring Fling (Sandra)
    • Meeting tomorrow night for Spring Fling
    • Procurement
  • Membership – Silver Membership Award! 
    • 102% membership over last year
    • Achievement of the Silver Membership Award indicates your PTA has enrolled members equaling at least 105% of your PTA’s total membership last year. 

8:45    Meeting Adjourned

Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

2/8, 2/10 Virtual School Tours – 2/8 9am, 2/10 6:30pm

2/21 – 2/25 NO SCHOOL (Mid-Winter Break)

3/8 March PTA Board Meeting

3/15 March PTA Community Meeting

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2022

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Meeting called to order at 7:03pm 


Board Members

  • Tina Lilley
  • Kristen Liang
  • Amy Bryan
  • Anna Hume
  • Kate Scher
  • Megan Wildenradt
  • Renee Harnett
  • Tricia Schalekamp
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Sara Lukas
  • Kellie Pecoraro
  • Brad Nelson
  • Leah Lansberry-Austin
  • Courtney Sievers
  • Kate Mathews
  • Todd Simonson

Non-Board Community Members

  • Reid Mathews – student 
  • Kendall Scales – student
  • Lyn Visick – student
  • Cindy Watters = Principal
  • An-Lon Chen
  • Sandy Hawley
  • Will Kruse
  • Susan Hernandez
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Charlie Cartwright
  • Jon Overman

7:00      Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement – read by Lyn Visick

7:10     Whittier Student Updates: Reid Mathews, Kendall Scales, Lyn Visick

Reid Mathews – Mr. Collin’s Class –  This year is better than the last couple we had. Stronger connection between teachers & students. He wants to make it more comfortable for the younger students at Whittier. 

Kendall Scales – Ms Childers Class – Wants to add unscented hand moisturizer. She likes that 4th/5th graders get to be helpful and she would also like to have more opportunities to help. 

Lyn Visick – Mr. Keener’s Class – Likes that there are more gender neutral bathrooms available. He would like to help people understand gender and individual bathroom choice. Lyn would like to see more gender neutral spaces.

Question from Tina – What do you consider gender neutral spaces? Lyn:  Bathrooms… Cindy suggested that we remove the gender binary component ie; boys & girls lining up, clothing

Kathleen Donahoe – asked for First Friday ideas: Reid – craft projects Lyn – Book exchange

7:25     Presidents Update/Housekeeping (Kristen/Tina)

Renee motioned to approve both November and December meeting minutes, Tricia seconded.

❖    Approval of November 2021 Meeting Minutes         –  APPROVED

❖    Approval of December 2021 Meeting Minutes          – APPROVED

❖    Opportunities:

➢    Virtual School Tours, 2/8 @ 9am, 2/10 @ 6:30pm

■      2/8  – Sara & Megan 

■      2/10 – Tricia & Megan

■      Suggestion from Susan – to provide special education information so people don’t have to solicit/ask questions about it

➢    Yearbook Club (Tracy)  

■      Looking for help with layout/formatting

➢    Family Directory (Amy/Todd)

■      Looking for a way to compile a school directory

■      Anna – suggested we send out a DID YOU KNOW that Konstella can be a way to connect? 

■      An-Lon mentioned that What’s App can be a super good tool, so maybe we pitch it that way

➢    March Food/Book Drive – Need some leadership for the food drive

■      Cindy – each week could be a different type of drive – ie; sock drive, food drive, book drive

■      She really wants the kids to help own the community aspect of it. Parents can help connect to the network. 

■      Sandy Hawley – suggested this shelter

❖    Funding Proposals:

➢    Recess Supervisions

■      Want bright yellow jackets for recess supervisors. Could be used for field trip chaperones in the future. Same type of jacket that Safety Patrol uses. Cindy would like 10 in various sizes. 

■      ~ $400 (10 x $30 each)

➢    Wildcat Spirit Fence Art –

■      Fence art would be about $2000

■      It would liven up the fence, be a focal point and show of school spirit. 

■      Volunteer opportunity for parents

Amy Bryan motioned to approve safety vests, Anna & Kristen seconded the motion. – PASSED

Board to review the Fence Art funding proposal. Perhaps the community can be involved in deciding what the art looks like. 

7:30      Principal & Staff Updates (Cindy)

COVID – we have had cases at school. Nurse Marissa has been amazing and has done contact tracing, notifying people of exposures, and has been our resident “HEALTH EXPERT”

Exposures in 3 classrooms, but only 5 kids needed to be quarantined. IF KIDS ARE VACCINATED, they don’t have to be quarantined! We have a fantastic vaccination at Whittier which is helping with minimal quarantines. We will monitor for symptoms and provide tests when needed to exposed kids. 

Remote Learning – Whittier is ready to transition kids to remote learning within 2 hours. Laptops/ipads won’t be sent home unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

Q: She’s heard that schools are running out of rapid tests… what is our supply of tests like? 

A: We have enough antigen test for a few more weeks. We also have PCR tests. We’re being very strategic with timing of testing… waiting for 5 days 

Q: Are we following CDC guidance of positive test but only 5 day quarantine

A: We are strongly encouraging 7 day quarantine

Whittier is approaching 90% vaccination rate with our students, and we’re taking a very hard stance on quarantining non-vaccinated students. (Vax rate is figured out by Nurse Marissa checking the state database and counting.)

Re:  Teachers who are positive, they are also being handled on a case by case basis with close guidance from Nurse Marissa.


A:  They are feeling like a lot of us, a little anxious but they don’t want remote learning too. They are AMAZING. Little acknowledgements make a big difference! Coffee, notes… anything that says “We see you, we know how hard you’re working”

Every staff member felt seen after the holiday gifts

NEW STAFF MEMBER – new K teacher Lola O’Rourke 

Cindy is hopeful that clubs can start happening soon. – Yearbook club, Newspaper Club starting – 1st newspaper coming out in a few weeks

Mask Drive – she has enough to give 1 to each teacher/staff for now  50 total staff (18 teachers)  – if you can, please purchase masks for the community.

Q:  Do we need to fill out the covid test permission form that SPS sent out? A: NO

Q: I heard from a friend at a neighboring school that they are blanket testing. Are we blanket testing? A: No

7:50      Treasurer’s Report

  • Budget Update (December reports): Balance SheetBudget vs ActualsProfit & Loss
  • Budget Survey (release Jan.?) & Town Hall (Community Meeting) Overview (Jan. 18)

  • Everything looking good budget wise. Largest expense was the staffing expense
  • Need volunteers for the Budget Committee – work to start up later this month
  • Renee wants to do a budget survey 

8:10      Nominating Committee – Vote Needed to Approve Members

8:15      Chair Reports 

❖    Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

➢    Black Lives Matter at School Week, 2/7 – 2/11

❖    Legislative Update

MEGAN – Voting deadline is 2/8

➢    Vote to endorse levies/

➢    VOTE #1 – Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 1 to renew the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy vote in February 2022.

VOTE #2 Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 2 to renew the Buildings, Tech, Academics/Athletics (BTA) Levy vote in February 2022.

❖    Discussion: Does the Whittier PTA want to donate to Schools First? 

❖    Fundraising – Spring Fling update + Jog-A-Thon check-in

8:45      Meeting Adjourned / Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Adjourned at 8:55 pm

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

1/17                 NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)

1/18                 PTA Budget Town Hall (Community Meeting)

2/7 – 2/11         Black Lives Matter at School Week

2/8                   PTA Board Meeting

2/8, 2/10          Virtual School Tours – 2/8 9am, 2/10 6:30pm

2/21 – 2/25       NO SCHOOL (Mid-Winter Break)

Notes, Reports & Resources

Thank you!

❖    Amy B. Nurse Marissa, Principal Watters – Mask Wishlist

❖    Kathleen, Courtney, Sandra, Martine – January First Friday, Winter Wishes 


❖    Standing Rules

❖    PTA Mission Statement

❖    2021-22 Budget

❖    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolkit (for Nominating Committee)

❖    PTA meeting schedule

Chair Updates: 

❖    Communications (Kate S.)

➢    We just sent out our 7th Wildchat for the year! I’d love to get content from more board and community members. Please submit ideas (even if it’s just a couple sentences! Or a great photo!) to

➢    Our Konstella userbase has reached 660 with around 325 active members that read announcements. Committee creation on Konstella doesn’t seem to help with recruiting volunteers, though, so we may need a new approach.

➢    The PTA FB page has 169 follows + 116 likes. Our Instagram has 90 followers. Class FB groups really vary in reach and activity level. The K group, for example, has 32 members and almost no activity. The 5th grade group has 105 members and more discussion. I continue to support these pages, but note reach is low. I also can’t post across all Class FB groups in one session or the PTA FB account gets temporarily banned.

❖    EDI (Anna)

❖    Membership (Tricia)

➢    November 2021 we earned the PTA Bronze Membership Award – enrolled 1 more membership than the prior year

➢    January 2022 membership 


❖    FACE (Events/Hospitality/Outreach) (Kathleen/Courtney/Todd)

❖    Advocacy (Megan)

➢    Focus on Advocacy Week is coming up – January 17-21st. There will be a call to action each day that we will share via Konstella and social media. You can learn more here. The week kicks off with a virtual legislative day and I hope to join meetings with Reps Frame and Berry. 

➢    Levy ballots will be mailed on Jan 19th and they are due on February 8th.  There are many ways we can support this which I will be sharing info on over the next few weeks.

❖    Volunteers (Kristin)


PTA Board Meeting Minutes – December 14, 2021

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

December 14, 2021

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Board Members Kristen Ramer Liang Megan Wildenradt Sara Lukas Kellie Pecoraro Leah Lansberry Austin Renee Hartnett Kate Scher Brad Nelson Stacy RoseGuests/Community Members Damian Mayo Cindy Watters Sandra Klay Anjean Vanden Bosch JoLynn Berge, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Business & Finance Becky Asencio, SPS Capital Projects Carlos Del Valle, SPS Executive Director of Technology Jake Milstein, volunteer, Schools First 

Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement without Quorum 7:02

Presidents Update/Housekeeping: 

Voting on the following issues  was delayed due to not having quorum:

Guest Presentations:

Our first speaker was JoLynn Berge, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Business & Finance. She taught us about school funding and the operation levy. She gave us a rundown on how schools are funded in Seattle, and how the levies contribute. This is SPS’s 2nd largest revenue stream after the state. This year the EP&O is up for renewal, and this levy bridges the gap between what the state provides and the district needs. Some things it covers includes: children nutrition, special education services, mental health counselors, athletics, music, nurses, etc. The levy would generate $646.8 million over 3 years. State law dictates how much they can collect from tax payers, and it’s always lower than what tax payers are willing to pay. 

Next we heard from Becky Asencio, SPS capital projects, who covered the upcoming BTA levy, which will be a replacement for the previous version. This is for large projects like new buildings, technology funding, major maintenance, small renovations, improvement projects for the buildings, etc. She told us about how the project lists are created. Consultants come to every school building to assess where the greatest need is, in addition to guidance from the board. This levy includes the Memorial Stadium replacement where earthquake safety repairs are necessary for the grandstands, along with some basic planned maintenance. Some other examples of what is covered are: playground repairs and replacements, asphalt and stormwater repairs, replacing old windows and doors, seismic safety improvements, fire security, plumbing, electrical, HVAC lighting, clean energy, secure entries, ADA accessibility, gender neutral restrooms, etc.

Then we heard from Carlos Del Valle, Executive Director of the Department of Technology Services. He shared with us that 85% of technology funds come from the levies. The BTA levy aligns with board guidance in three major areas: student learning and support, district systems and data, infrastructure and security, and the staff to support all of this. There’s also a significant increase in tech costs in the last year due to becoming a 1:1 device district. These devices also need to be managed and supported, including cyber security, routers, etc etc. Lastly, the funds also go towards the digital equity program.

We came back to Becky Asencio to talk about academics and athletics funding. We have current needs for special education modifications, turf field replacements, arts and science equipment, and are looking to supplement $783 million over 6years, which is a similar process to other levies in terms of deciding how to prioritize projects. 

Lastly we heard from Jake Milstein, a volunteer for the nonprofit organization School’s First. He let us know that SPS employees can’t tell you how to vote, but School’s First can! They are asking that our PTA endorses the levy publicly, and encourage donations to Schools First to help raise awareness. They are hoping for $1 a student. 

Principal & Staff Updates

General Updates from Principal Watters: 85% of kids have received their first shot. The plan is for 80% of kids to come back in Jan. fully vaccinated. Looking to move more of lunch inside because the kids are really starting to get cold. 

Upcoming in Jan: We’re hoping to see more volunteers, but planning to still be very conservcative. Parents won’t be in classrooms regularly, but perhaps some one-offs.  Massive monkees, Salmon program, both are still able to come. We’ll lean into public health and SPS guidance. We’ve been able to hire an operations person to help with some of the roles we’ve been missing with no parent volunteers. Mr Mo, Kinder teacher will not be coming back, so looking for a replacement. Parents asked about security after the recent shelter in place orders at other schools. We are one of the only schools with a buzzer at the door. The campus will remain closed forever even after pandemic. Gates are locked during school hours and we do safety drills with kids. Whittier is lucky to be one of the few schools with a totally closed campus.

Special Education Presentation: Principal Watters gave us a presentation on the Special Education services at Whittier, so we can all be more familiar with what our school offers. All students have access to all types of support. We have a continuum of services, depending on students’ needs. We’re going to meet kids where they are at and support them as they need. We have a lot of diversity in our learners, and they all need some support at some point. 

Spring Fling Check-In:

Sandra Klay, our Spring Fling chair, led a discussion about the possibility of making this year’s Spring Fling a block party style event. The goal is to make it welcoming and accessible for all, and to just have the community feeling we’ve been missing.

Helping Hands Update: 

We raised $4200 for community and 220 pairs of socks!

Meeting Adjourned 8:47

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – November 9, 2021

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

November 9, 2021

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Board Members Tina Lilley Kellie Pecoraro Megan Wildenradt Sara Lukas Kathleen Donahoe Tricia Schalekamp Kristen Ramer Liang Amy Bryan Leah Lansberry-Austin Renee Hartnett Kate Scher Courtney Sievers Kate MathewsCommunity Members Representative Noel Frame Representative Liz Berry Cindy Watters An-Lon Chen Katherine Abraham Susan Hernandez Will Kruse Kristin Wiggins

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:03pm

Special guests: Representatives Liz Berry and Noel Frame

Megan Wildenradt introduced our two guest speakers, Representatives Liz Berry and Noel Frame, both mothers and live in our community. They did a Q&A for us:

Q: How can we best support the lack of funding that goes into the public school system? The lack of funding for staff and general funding, buildings, supplies, etc? How can we best advocate?

A: Rep Frame: this is why I got involved in politics. We have a deeply problematic tax structure, perhaps the worst in the nation. Some steps have been taken recently, but we have a long way to go. Property tax is the funding source, and it’s a tapped out source. We need to reform our tax  code. We’re a medium tax state, but most of it falls on middle and low income residents. A wealth tax is needed. Stocks and bonds pay 0% tax. 

Berry: Advocate for tax reform! Tell elected leaders that our schools are not fully funded. Tell your stories. 

Frame: “Fully” funded education is based on a 2009 definition. We need a new definition, and then to figure out a new price tag. 

Q: How is funding in other parts of the state?

A: Frame: There’s sometimes more funding for special education nurses, librarians, etc, it’s more specific outside of the Seattle area.

Berry: WSPTA asked the same question on Friday, and they suggested getting together with school boards, teachers guild, etc, to come up with a number to take to the reps. We need to have a united front. 

Q: What can you tell us about funding for dyslexia?

A: Berry: In 2018 a bill was passed that defined it as a specific learning disability, and right now the policy states that kids diagnosed with dyslexia needed to be supported. 

Q: But what funding is provided to train people to do that!? 

A: Principal Watters: It’s mostly an unfunded mandate. Most funding went to testing for diagnosis, basically none for support. 

Q: Not so much a question, but rather a plea for the equity issue. We need the literacy specialist, but we don’t want to be stuck in the inequitable position to fund it. 

A: Berry: I’m learning this too as a kinder parent! Librarian? Nurse? We need these things. We hear you, it’s a mess! Covid testing also should be funded! It’s a horrible cycle. Our schools have perpetuated the very inequities we advocate against through this private funding bind.

Presidents Update/Housekeeping

  • Approval of October 2021 Meeting Minutes: Kristen Liang-Ramer motioned to approve, Amy Bryan seconded, and the motion passed.
  • Reflections: We had 4 qualifying entries, hoping to put them in the halls and on the PTA website.
  • Spring Fling: 5/21/2022 @ Leif Erikson Hall, Ballard
  • Outreach update: We discussed the food & toiletry drive, ILS sock drive, Helping Hands. Principal Watters suggested doing the food drive in March, because there’s a surplus during the holidays anway. Sock drive now, food drive later. A lot of the discussion surrounded the need to really include the children in the drives. 
  • Nominating committee is getting put together, we need 4-6 people. 

Principal & Staff Updates

(From Principal Watters:) Thanks for inviting the reps. We are working with a community partner to host a vaccine clinic at Whitttier, still waiting on info about how many doses we’ll have access to. Hoping to get volunteers back in the building in the new year. It will be joyful to have parents around! Nov 20 and Dec 11, are tentatively the dates for the clinic. Parents and students are invited to send their teachers gratitude letters, spread the word! Regarding the Friday absence… the  district didn’t have enough subs, and this was actually a problem in schools across the nation.  At least we decided before Friday morning.  Another reason we need more funding! Working in education is hard, and teachers are a bit burnt out. In good news, SPED is moving people around and we are getting another IA. Lastly, vaccination rates will determine more flexibility for parents/volunteers on campus.

Annual Give Update 

  • We are at 67% participation!

Treasurer’s Report

Monthly Staff Appreciation

  • Staff lunch is hosted by the 4th grade families this month. In December it will be cookies/goodies from 3rd grade families.


  • Total 114 members, that’s an increase of 8 from last month
  • 106 Regular PTA, 8 Staff members


We discussed changing the date of the next wild chat.  If you have any content ideas, send them in!

9:01 Meeting Adjourned

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – Oct 12, 2021

Board Members

  • Tina Lilley
  • Kristen Ramer-Liang
  • Kellie Pecoraro
  • Anna Hume
  • Kate Scher
  • Courtney Sievers
  • Sara Lukas
  • Renee Hartnett
  • Tricia Schalekamp
  • Amy Bryan
  • Megan Wildenradt
  • Brad Nelson
  • Leah Lansberry Austin
  • Kathleen Donahoe


  • Cindy Watters
  • Laura McLaughlin
  • Steve French
  • Will Kruse

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:01pm

Approval of September 2021 Meeting Minutes 

Presidents Update

Co-president Kristen Ramer-Liang shared some points with us from a local author, consultant and educator, who spoke about racial equity in education at a recent WSPTA meeting: 3 great points for PTA leaders:

➢    lead with your assets

➢    no shame, blame or guilt, this is a place for conversation, all views should be shared

➢    instead of creating safe spaces, create brave spaces. We can all be vulnerable, but also give each other grace.

Nominating Committee is looking for volunteers:

➢    tasked with finding officer positions for next year’s board

Board/Volunteer Updates

➢    Co-President – VOTE to recommend Kristen Ramer Liang

➢    Vice President – VOTE to recommend Leah Lansberry

➢    Volunteer Chair – Kristin Limback


Kellie Pecoraro moved to recommend Kristen as Co-president and Leah as VP, Anna Hume seconded the motion which then passed unanimously.  Executive board voted Kristin Limback onto the board unanimously.

Reflections Contest:

Contest announced today in wildchat. Committee will select up to 12 pieces of art that will go to the district level. Looking for people to be on the committee.

Principal & Staff Updates

Principal Cindy Watters joined us to give an update on the school year so far from the point of view of the staff. She gave a big shout out to our community and nurse Marissa, as we haven’t had any covid exposure at school yet! Also thank you to the hospitality chairs for the First Friday pumpkin event, and thanks for being flexible while we plan activities that follow covid procedures and build community. Thanks for the support from the PTA. Some additional updates:

➢    Lost and found Friday! Stuff coming out on Fridays for caregivers to look through

➢    Whittier added to our special education staffing, one of the few in the district that’s gotten that.

➢    Our new asst principal will be joining for curriculum night and community meeting.

➢    Virtual curriculum night tomorrow!

Then she took some time for Q/A:

Q: Did we get additional clothes for the office?

A: Yes for now. We’ll let you know if we need more.

Q: Will vaccines be offered at school?

A: We are working with nurse Marissa and the district to figure that out. SPS is definitely offering community vaccine clinics.

Q:What will it look like when the school is vaccinated?

A: That’s a question for Dr Faucii! Public health will inform us as we know more.

Q: How are the staff doing?

A: They remain remarkably positive and kind, but exhausted. Tagline for the year is joyfully flexible.  Talking in a mask all day is hard. Keeping distance is hard. But we have incredible staff and they are their best self every day. Curiosity and kindness is the best way for parents to support them.

Q: Any staffing changes with upcoming vax requirements?

A: Thankfully no!

Q: Will we make emergency bags for kids like previous years?

A: At some point we want to think more about that, but we don’t want them to go to waste/expire. Can continue conversation.

Q: Any field trips this year?

A: Likely no, but fingers crossed for yes. Virtual definitely. Massive monkees will  hopefully be in person.

Q: Do we need to think about funding to get everyone to school with bus driver shortage?

A: We have just a handful of families, and I have been able to talk to all these families. Right now we have an AM plan in place. Still trying to figure out after school.

Q: Will parent volunteers be allowed back on campus after vaccines?

A: Currently we are being overly cautious, just in case, but hopefully in Jan.

Q: Are you going to stick around after this year?

A: I hope so!! I would like to be here awhile. Learning a lot!

Treasurer’s Report

We have a  new Budget Dictionary to help us all understand our PTA budget. This will make it more clear what each line item is for and how it should be used. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are confused! We looked at a review of our Financial Reports (September: Budget vs Actual, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss.) Balance sheets are up to date and accurate. All our money is in Homestreet accounts. We had a reserve fund from the 2019-2020  5th grade class’s Nature Bridge fundraising, but it wasn’t in the budget, so it will look like a hit, but we did have the money for it, so it’s ok. Additionally we got the final invoice from SPS, from the flexible staffing grant, and we have 24k owed to SPS. We are NOT going to get the 12k we expected to come back to us from the district. Based on what we’ve already spent, if we fundraise as budgeted, and spend as budgeted, then we will be left with 78k at the end of the year. So, we need to figure out other places to spend our money, if not staffing grants. Still need to finish the financial review committee report from last year. Lastly, we are looking for volunteers for the budget committee. This is a minimal time commitment, 3-4 hours total.

Annual Give Update

Mr Tiger Goes Wild is our theme for the campaigns and community engagement events throughout the year. 75k is our goal for our Annual Give, which is approx. $200 a student. Looking into donor gift options for donations of $100 or more. Also there will be thank you gifts for all the students for reaching our goal. Envelope stuffing campaign coming up! Saving $500 by putting it in kid mail rather than stamps. Looking to create a business directory so we can know who we can support in our community, and who might support us!

Chair Updates


➢    Priority – Get all Room Rets set up and activated in Konstella

➢    By 10/31 – Develop a document/calendar that supports our Room Reps and share out


➢    Membership is at 7 staff and 96 parents/ family members.  Total of 103 PTA members. Going to come up with a quick email to remind people to renew.


➢    We have a new theme and new content areas on the website! Lots of short updates, so making it mobile friendly and can showcase it all.

➢    Digital version mostly, but with a few kid mail editions if necessary.

➢    Contact Kate if you have things you want to put on the website.


➢    Upcoming events:

○      Every 3rd Thursday is staff appreciation with 5th grade this month

○      First Friday: balancing activity with tangible gift for students


➢    Join our next meeting, Thursday 11/4, 7-8:30pm


➢    Representatives Frame and Berry are coming to the Nov. board meeting.

➢    Send in your questions to Megan


➢    Working on a family support drive in Dec. for food/toiletries/gift cards.

➢     Not teaming up Bailey-Getzert this year.

Meeting Adjourned at 9:06pm

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

10/19               Community Meeting

11/9                 PTA Board Meeting

TBD                  Food & Toiletry Drive

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2021

Whittier PTA Board Meeting
September 14, 2021
7pm via Zoom

Board Members

  • Tina Lilley
  • Kristen Ramer-Liang
  • Kate Scher
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Courtney Sievers
  • Sara Lukas
  • Renee Hartnett
  • Tricia Schalekamp
  • Amy Bryan
  • Megan Wildenradt
  • Kellie Pecoraro
  • Brad Nelson
  • Leah Lansberry Austin
  • Anjean Vanden Bosch
  • Susan Hernandez
  • Katherine Abraham
  • Megan Herscher
  • Cindy Watters
  • Kate Mathews
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Lauren Carey
  • Charlie Cartwright
  • Laura McLaughlin
  • Stacy Rose
  • Joanna Silverstein
  • Kristin Laughlin

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:02pm

Principal Update:
Big welcome to Principal Cindy Watters! She expressed thanks to the families, for purchasing outdoor lunch mats, and for keeping kids home when they are sick. She noted that so far we are the only school without an outbreak. Then she took some questions:

Q: How are the staff doing, how can we support them?
A: Our staff are amazing, but the staff do have a high level of anxiety over keeping everyone safe. First, we know we are in tension with parents, because parents have their child in clarity, while staff have to see all kids equally. Parents are the best advocates for their students, and it helps staff to know that parents will communicate additional needs with them. Second, the most tangible thing we can do to support teachers, is to tell teachers when they do things well. Meaningful notes of acknowledgement or thanks go a long way. Additionally, supplies and coffee are always appreciated. Education is under-funded, and teachers shouldn’t have to buy supplies themselves.

Q: Will we have a VP this year?
A: Yes! Starting on Thursday, we have a new VP, Nooria Miskell. She will be .5 time as an Assistant Principal at Whittier and we are also getting a social worker at .5 time.

Q: Who is notified when there’s a student that tests positive?
A: Each case is individual, and there’s guidance for each case from SPS. New guidance is constantly coming out. Cindy asks parents to make good choices for our community in the hours outside of school.

President/VP Update

  • President Tina Lilley and VP Kristen Ramer-Liang updated us on the current Board/Volunteer positions. The executive committee appointed Kate Scher as interim communications chair until official vote at the next Community Meeting.
  • There was a vote to rename the Legislative Chair to Advocacy Chair, (motion by Amy Bryan, and Renee Hartnett seconded) which passed.
  • Co-President / VP positions are still needed! If you’re interested email Tina here.
  • Time to recruit room reps: email to be a room rep
  • We’ve launched a new website and there will be a new PTA Newsletter. We feel it will have great potential to reach our families, provide support and community, and advocate for essential issues.
  • 5th graders from 2020 raised money that they couldn’t use for their Nature Bridge trip, and have decided to donate it for a buddy bench on the playground, and a funnel ball tower.
  • Spirit Gear is available! Online store can be found here: All orders can be placed online and for the next 2 weeks qualify for free shipping to school.
  • Lastly, there was a vote to approve the use of sales revenue from Picture Day for gear inventory (Kristen Ramer Liang motions, Kellie Pecoraro seconded) which passed.

Treasurer’s Report

We currently have $126,000, with money still due to SPS as we await the Q4 invoice from Seattle Public Schools for last year’s school year. This covered staffing support grants, staffing, and instructional supports for the 2020-2021 school year. The rest of the money is allocated for the budget that was approved by the PTA community back in May, and our current status can be seen here. Additionally, as
an organization we are now aiming to spend what we raise in each school year, rather than roll over an extra amount each year.

PTA Goals/Fundraising

  • Kristen Ramer-Liang led us through some informative information on the history, and current
    status of PTA fundraising in Seattle, including national and local conversation about what is the
    role of the PTA in schools. This is the first year since 2016 that we are raising funds for the same
    budget year, and we are continuing the conversation as an organization as to what our goals
    and priorities will be moving forward. Our goal is to begin the conversation now, so that we can
    be prepared to set the budget at the end of the school year and have a cohesive decision as to
    what we want to represent as a PTA.
  • Our fundraising chairs led us through the fundraising goals for this year. The plan is to have 3
    fundraisers, with the following goals: 75k from the annual give, 30k from the spring fling, and
    15k from the jogathon. We are reminded that when we set a budget in May, that directly
    impacts our fundraising goals for the year, unlike previous years where we could rely on a
  • We still need a spring fling chair!

Thank you!
➢ Anna, Megan, Kellie, Kristen, Sara, Tina, & Todd – Back to School Prep and Picture Day
➢ Kathleen & Courtney – Teacher Welcome and First Day Kindergarten welcome packets
➢ Brad & Erin – Website
➢ Kristen – Spirit Gear
➢ Anna – Graphics design for spirit gear and stickers Chair Updates
➢ Communications: Currently working on strategy for the Wildchat email.
➢ Membership: Lots more parents are joining! We are always looking for more volunteers, Including a volunteer position. Email Tina to learn more.
➢ FACE (Events/Hospitality/Outreach): Working on creating Fun First Friday! Every first Friday the PTA would host a covid friendly community event outside the entrances. Hoping to do staff support events as well.
➢ Advocacy: Working on getting state reps to come to a meeting. Nov 9th is a possibility.

There are still some exciting positions available for those who want to get involved!
➢ Nominating Committee: help select next year’s board members! Email if you’re interested in joining the Nominating Committee.
➢ Be one of Whittier’s voting delegates at WSPTA Legislative Assembly (Oct. 23-24)

Meeting Adjourned at 9:09pm

Standing Rules
❖ PTA Mission Statement: “Our mission is to advocate for families and teachers to create an equitable environment, resources, and opportunities for kids to excel and reach their full, unique potential.”

2021-22 Budget
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolkit (for Nominating Committee)
PTA meeting schedule / shared calendar

Next Board Meeting Tues, Oct. 12; Community Meeting Tues, Oct. 19